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Ofsted experience


jazzy1
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So we had our very overdue inspection just before the holidays and so I thought I would jot a few thoughts down as I know I found it helpful when others wrote what had happened during their inspection.

We were fortunate, and I am aware others here have not been, that she was a very nice Inspector who was Early years trained (hurrah) and was genuinely interested in the setting. She was with us all day.

She was particularity complimentary about the outside spaces, including the mud kitchen and den areas where the children can bulid their own dens with natural resources. She was happy with our real house bricks (stating herself that children needed to learn risk...) and didn't want to see any outside risk assessments, just wanted to know we had them.

We were all very keen to constantly bombard her with information about what we had and why, rather than wait for her to ask the question!

She observed ALL staff individually all interacting with a child.The joint observation was with manager and a practitioner outside. They both observed for 10 minutes then a the end the Inspector just asked the manager if there was anything she could have done differently.

She asked all staff individually about safeguarding and who our officer is. What we would do if we thought a child was being abused and checked we all had same answers!!

She wanted to know about whistle blowing too. She asked staff about ratios and spot checked childrens ages and asked some staff about age appropriate books.

Obviously she talked to parents. Wanted to know if they knew who their key person was and communication. Also how to make a complaint.

She had definitely read our policies as they are online and this helped I think. As far as tracking - again, we were all consistent with how we track and our next steps for each child, although we do not over do this as we argued that some children are with us for 3 hours a week!, She was happy with it. This was the same for 2 year check, we justified not doing it until the key person felt they knew the child and she said this was fair enough.

Oh she checked ALL staffs qualifications. ALL our certificates are on site so this was easy but time consuming. She also flicked through all our other certificates (in same file) which showed up to date training (like SENCO and first aid)

Although we were delighted to be given Outstanding we are aware that other settings do brilliant jobs and aren't rewarded for it and a lot depends on who you get 'judging' you and what they are looking for. So, if they come knocking at your door, stand proud, hold your head up high and show off your hard work!

 

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Very well done on your fantastic achievement! We were inspected in March and got a Good judgement with no actions and just 2 minor recommendations after a very positive inspection from a very positive inspector! Am ditto-ing everything you said on your inspection process...very thorough and wanted to know and see EVERYTHING! I would urge everyone to keep everything at hand and in one place so it can be found easily. There is so much pressure on all of us now...especially after Ofsted raised the bar last autumn :0)

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Thanks for making me aware that yet another weekend with policy and SEF work may have been necessary... I just need more time to get it all done! We still haven't been able to establish starting points for all our new ones. Settling in is time-consuming, as is receiving prospective parents.

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Thank you for your kind wishes. As some of you have said, its hard knowing others here have had such a grim experience from their inspection. Its a shame there isn't more consistency.

Wildflowers has reminded me that she tracked our youngest child and wanted every scrap of info re the new entrant record/ all the parent contact/ medical info etc and starting points.

She also tracked one of the SEND children, again gathered all the information from all staff involved - key person, SENCO and Manager and asked independently how he was being supported.

RE policies, she cleverly had found two missing things from the policies that we have online and wanted proof we had them to hand in the setting. Fortunately we did!!!

 

Finally DBS numbers. Like the qualifications, she wanted the numbers for all staff.

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What a lovely post, jazzy1 - congratulations to you and your team on your fantastic outcome. It was very thoughtful of you also to consider the feelings of others that have had really difficult Ofsted inspections, whilst also sharing what your particular inspector was looking for.

It is people like you that make this Forum such a fantastic community. :1b

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Just out of interest, how overdue was your inspection? More than 5 years since my last one here..... Can't bear the waiting!

 

Thanks for the heads up on what they wanted to see. Always good to be aware of their current "wants". Congratulations to you and your team on your outstanding result.

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yeah, well I hope to goodness mine doesn't go as yours did!!!! Oh God, I have just worked out that 5 yrs 5 months would get me to last day of term..... please not an inspection on Xmas party day... last one was very last day of summer term.....that was hopeless too!

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Fantastic news jazzy and you have definitely hit the nail on the head regarding the inspector.

I had a very interesting and long chat with Peter from Ofsted ( regulations guy) on Friday afternoon after getting in touch for written confirmation when querying my staffing.

Sadly I am still banging my head against the wall but it was nice to talk and air my concerns and frustration , he was also good enough to tell me that his opinion was that the report actions were not worded correctly and thanked me for my transparency, honesty and that despite our concerns he did not feel he needed to pursue or trigger the inspection again.

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I just want them to come and get it over with. We cannot be any more prepared than we are and have been for the last two years!!

Just heard that they are at another nursery ten miles away from us, they were also over five years..you never know could be us next week!!

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We are now five years and four months and still waiting!

Well that makes us just about the same. I wonder who will get the knock on the door first? Frankly I now feel that I am going "off the boil" a bit with our state of preparedness....

Edited by eyfs1966
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you jazzy for posting your experience, I'm devouring all information I can get at the moment. The setting's last inspection was June 2009 and with another manager. I thought when I took over the reins that we would be inspected within 6 months and we are still waiting.

Congratulations on your fantastic judgement.

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I'm devouring all information I can get at the moment.

I find lots of useful information in other settings' reports. (Apart from to ensure that there are no exhaust fumes coming into the baby room from the neighbouring garage!) Though they make me far less confident... Perhaps best not to read them if you are prone to worrying.

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